Ferguson: 'Terrific' Van Persie made up for his poor penalty
MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was surprised at Robin van Persie's lackadaisical penalty but will let him off the hook after his hat-trick helped them twice come from behind to beat Southampton.
The Holland international looked set to get his first taste of the famous hairdryer treatment after wasting an opportunity to draw level with a cheeky penalty attempt that was saved by Kelvin Davis.
However, Van Persie's late double salvo turned the game on its head and earned United a 3-2 victory, much to Ferguson's – and the former Arsenal striker's – relief.
"I was surprised because every time I have seen him take a penalty he rattles it in the corners," the United manager said of Van Persie, who reached 100 Premier League goals yesterday.
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"He made up for it, though. He had six attempts on goal and was a real threat.
"His first goal was absolutely magnificent – the control and then to bury it away. It was a really, really good goal.
"His header was excellent too, but he has been a terrific player for us."
Southampton had looked on course for a famous victory after twice going ahead.
Rickie Lambert headed the hosts in front after 16 minutes and they responded well to Van Persie's leveller as Morgan Schneiderlin put them in front again in the second half.